The eastern extremity of the Old Town
To the right after 50m is the Acandia Gate of the Tongue of Italy, protected to the south by the del Carretto Bastion, designed with angled embrasures and cannon-ports both at the parapet and at the level of the ground by Basilio dalla Scuola in 1517/18. This was always destined to be one of the more vulnerable points of the city’s enceinte, because it is here that the moat levels out towards the coast. Suleiman was not blind to this fact and directed his most insistent artillery and cannon fire against this gate from the outset of the siege.
A short distance south along Kisthiniou Street on the left, is a commemorative water-fountain dedicated by the International Jewish Community in 1913 to General Giovanni Ameglio who took Rhodes for the Italians in May 1912, entering the city through the Jewish Quarter. He became the island’s first commander and promoted largely respectful relations between the authorities and the Jewish community, which at that time numbered nearly 5,000 people.
The street ends in front of the busy, 15th century church of St Panteleimon, whose interior has been lavishly redecorated with modern, Byzantine paintings of some merit: these are not wall-paintings, however, but executed on linen affixed to the wall. This is similar to the method used by Venetian painters in the 16th century to circumvent the effects of damp on fresco, which gave momentum to the development of oil-on-stretched canvas painting in Western art: it is curious to see history repeat itself here in the Byzantine tradition, 500 years later. Behind the church, against the eastern extremity of the walls, are the scant excavated remains of a large Gothic, rib-vaulted, single-aisled church dedicated by Pierre d’Aubusson to ‘Our Lady of Victory’. The church’s life was short and poignant: built after the 1480 siege in thanks to the Virgin for salvation, it was destroyed again in the siege of 1522; its ruins suffered final destruction in the last War.
From this vantage point at the end of the town, the long line of the Hellenistic harbour walls can be seen stretching 100m westwards, their meticulously drafted blocks, set into the bed-rock defining two clear borders. At the point where the width of the archaeological area opens out after 50m, the line of the walls deflects slightly and the base of a circular fortification-tower behind them can be seen. At the opposite end, just before they are covered by the building of the Hospice of St Catherine, the transverse cut of a postern gate can also be detected. At their easternmost limit these walls formed a mole or breakwater extending around the harbour beyond the area of habitation.
Rhodes Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.